Skip to content

Insights

Built for the Long Run: 4 Transformative Ways an MHA Impacted Eric Johnson’s Life

Written by Molly Forman on Jan 23, 2020

Related content: Outcomes, Digital Education

On the surface, running and learning are different: one physical, the other cognitive. But for avid practitioners, success for both is premised on continuous improvement and transformation, not reaching a (constantly shifting) finish line. Eric Johnson—an ultramarathon runner—knows this all too well.

Today, Eric is a leader in his role in financial planning and analytics at Adventist Health, thanks in part to his Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree. Offered through the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University and powered by 2U, the MHA@GW program taught Eric more than health care management. Read on for four reasons why he considers attending MHA@GW the most transformative decision he made for his career.

Professional evolution in an unexpected place.

Eric completed an undergraduate degree in accounting, and landed a mint job at Ernst & Young. “After five years, I decided to explore how to advance and evolve,” he said. He moved on to Sacramento-based Sutter Health where he once again felt fulfilled, but this time in medical finance. Nearly five years later he once again felt his career hit a cap. This prompted him to explore higher education opportunities that could help him add value for his then-employer.

Deciding what program to pursue was a no-brainer. Eric had always known he would get a master’s degree from the George Washington University, and his mentor confirmed that by placing the MHA@GW program on a shortlist of the best options for him. The online program maintained the rigor of a traditional education, allowed for schedule flexibility, and eliminated the need for Eric to relocate from his California home base. He knew at the end of the road, this degree would multiply his career options.

Flexibility to live life—without compromising quality.

With anything in life, it’s easy to make comparisons and wonder if you’re doing enough. Eric, for one, loves ultramarathoning—or running distances greater than 26.2 miles. He competed throughout high school and undergrad, but after college, it wasn’t easy for him to find the time to train, much less compete.

With an online education, Eric found flexibility in his schedule to return to his passion. “Even though I was working and studying for hours each week, I was able to compete for my fourth 100-mile run in 2016, in the middle of my program,” he said. “I’m grateful that I was able to participate in ultramarathons again.”

Eric found the ideal program for him—one where he didn’t have to give up his love of running, or his passion for learning.

A new network of career support.

For Eric, building a new network of contacts during his MHA degree program was expected. What wasn’t expected was the strength of the relationships he built–both online and in person.

This personal interaction started online; Eric often felt like he was sitting in the same physical room as his classmates. “I was pleased and impressed with the weekly live sessions in our virtual classroom—and the amount of collaboration made possible using the live video component,” he said. “That interaction was paramount to my learning.”

Eric and his peers got to know each others’ faces through the live classroom. Then, when they finally met at their first immersion in person, they picked up with one another like familiar friends. “There was immediate chemistry, because we already knew each other and had a working dynamic,” he said. Hugs were exchanged over handshakes.

He even met business-minded compatriots that would prove valuable. “I’m involved in a startup for a running product, and a guy in my cohort who started up his own company became a great person to bounce business ideas off of,” he said.

The three letters that changed everything.

MHA. These three little letters made all the difference for Eric—helping him walk out of the classroom a changed (and bettered) person.

“For me, attending this program really transformed my skill set,” he said. “I was incubated in finance, and as my career evolved, I knew medicine was where I wanted to go. I’ve been able to meld my various disciplines with the information gained from the MHA degree and truly become a healthcare professional.”

Seeking additional professional education ultimately broadened Eric’s personal horizons—and he doesn’t feel he could have done it without the MHA@GW program. “Since my graduation in 2017, I have also been fortunate to put my knowledge around population and community health to use,” he said. “I have served two years as an appointed planning commissioner in my community, where I am able to help make positive decisions that will have long-lasting implications for residents.”

Going the distance

Eric’s experience in a mission-driven environment helped shape his career, and in turn, helps him optimize patient care for every company he touches. “Everything I learned has significantly improved the quality of my work,” he said. “I added operations and admin to my wheelhouse—and did it at a world-class university.” This experience was invaluable, and Eric is confident this was the best opportunity he could have taken.

Culture

A Day in the Life: Director of Learning and Development Strategy Nadja Shaw

Learn what it's like to work at 2U from Director of Learning and Development Strategy Nadja Shaw

Feb 13, 2020·Molly Forman

Insights

A Skeptic of Online Learning Sees the Light—and a Career

Parfait Kanam believes being a clinician wouldn’t have been possible without the Counseling@Northwestern program

Feb 11, 2020·Molly Forman

Culture

A Day in the Life: VP of Human Resources Andrea Walton

Learn what it's like to work at 2U from VP of Human Resources Andrea Walton

Feb 7, 2020·Molly Forman

News & Press

MSU Launches Coding Boot Camp in Partnership with Trilogy

With demand for tech-savvy talent in Detroit at a record high, Michigan State University is offering its first coding boot camp in partnership with Trilogy Education

Feb 6, 2020·2U

Insights

Great Partnerships are Built on Big Dreams

Learn the story behind our partnership with LSE from Melindi Britz, 2U SVP of University Partnerships

Feb 5, 2020·Melindi Britz

News & Press

The University of London, LSE, and 2U Announce 7 Online Bachelor's Degrees

2U, the University of London, and its member institution, the London School of Economics and Political Science announced an expanded partnership to launch a suite of seven online undergraduate degrees

Feb 4, 2020·2U

Culture

A Day in the Life: CRO Analyst Alexandra Resnick

Learn what it's like to work at 2U, Inc. from CRO Analyst Alexandra Resnick

Jan 30, 2020·Molly Forman

Insights

“You Can’t Be What You Can’t See”: How Trilogy and Girls Who Code Are Changing the Face of Technology

Fewer than one in five computer science graduates are female. Faced with this statistic, young women across the country look to role models for inspiration—and courage.

Jan 28, 2020·Stephen Eichinger

News & Press

University of Toronto and Trilogy Education Launch FinTech Boot Camp in Toronto

University of Toronto SCS will now offer FinTech, Coding, Data Analytics, Cybersecurity, and UX/UI boot camps to meet demand for tech talent in Toronto

Jan 28, 2020·2U

News & Press

Arizona State University and Trilogy Education Launch Cybersecurity Boot Camp in Phoenix

We're proud to announce the launch of a cybersecurity boot camp in partnership with Arizona State University’s (ASU) Continuing & Professional Education

Jan 23, 2020·2U

Insights

Built for the Long Run: 4 Transformative Ways an MHA Impacted Eric Johnson’s Life

Learn more about what it's like to take an online master of health administration degree from MHA@GW graduate Eric Johnson

Jan 23, 2020·Molly Forman

News & Press

2U, Inc. Selected for 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for its Leadership in Advancing Women in the Workplace

2U was named to the 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), recognizing companies dedicated to transparency in gender-data reporting

Jan 21, 2020·2U

Culture

Walking the Walk: How 2U's Maintaining a Culture of Inclusion

Today, 2U was recognized in Bloomberg's 2020 Gender-Equality Index. Here's why one 2Ute believes this matters.

Partner Spotlight

Pepperdine’s Thema Bryant-Davis and the Reinvention of a Modern Therapist

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a Duke PhD, ordained minister, psychologist, Pepperdine University professor, author, editor, dancer, poet—and a very new kind of listener.

Jan 16, 2020·Molly Forman

Insights

Stitching Ahead: Meredith Culler’s Road to an MBA

Meredith Culler found herself at a career crossroads, and MBA@UNC helped her navigate her future

Jan 14, 2020·Molly Forman

Insights

At the International Rescue Committee, Rebecca La-Touche is Negotiating Change

As the first short course graduate through 2U's IRC scholarship program, Rebecca La-Touche shares the lessons she learned.

Jan 9, 2020·Molly Forman

Mission

A More Affordable Way to Pay for Higher Education

Take a look inside 2U and EdAid’s deferred tuition partnership.

Jan 7, 2020·Molly Forman

Insights

Mohammed Wardeh Needed a Second Chance–with Trilogy, He Got One

How a boot camp graduate became a full-time software engineer at Trilogy

Jan 2, 2020·Stephen Eichinger

News & Press

2U, Inc. Launches Partnership with the International Rescue Committee

2U announced a new Purpose Partnership with the IRC to offer scholarships to their employees.

Dec 19, 2019·2U

Mission

The First Catch: Two Midwives, a Baby, and a Lifelong Friendship

How a clinical placement in New Mexico altered the lives of two Georgetown University alumni

Dec 18, 2019·Molly Forman

Mission

Hi, We're 2U.

Welcome to 2U, Inc.'s new website

Dec 18, 2019·David Sutphen

News & Press

2U, Inc. Appoints Jennifer Ogden-Reese as Chief Marketing Officer

2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in education technology, announced the appointment of Jennifer Ogden-Reese as its new Chief Marketing Officer.

Oct 30, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. Appoints Paul S. Lalljie as Chief Financial Officer

2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in education technology, announced the appointment of Paul S. Lalljie as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

Oct 16, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. and Rochester Institute of Technology Partner to Deliver Online Master of Architecture

This is 2U’s first architecture offering and represents a new vertical for the company

Oct 7, 2019·2U

News & Press

St. John Fisher College and 2U, Inc. Partner to Deliver New Hybrid Doctorate of Pharmacy

This will be the first online or hybrid Pharm.D. pathway offered by an institution in the state of New York

Sep 30, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. Announces Zero Interest Deferred Tuition Plan

Simmons University School of Nursing will be Inaugural Partner to Offer Student Friendly Plan

Sep 12, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. and Keypath Education Join Emerson College to Deliver Online MA in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics

This program marks the first 2U-Keypath joint initiative since the two companies announced an alliance in February 2019

Sep 12, 2019·2U

News & Press

Syracuse University, 2U, Inc. Partner to Offer Online Master’s Degree in Social Work

With this agreement, 2U now supports 15 online graduate degrees for Syracuse University and a series of GetSmarter short courses

Sep 12, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. Announces Industry-Leading Framework For Transparency

Call for greater visibility in online program management industry will help inform and empower students, universities, and policymakers

Sep 11, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. Announces its First Online Undergraduate Degree Program in Partnership with the University of London

New affiliation provides students access to London School of Economics and Political Science’s world-renowned faculty and curriculum

Aug 5, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U Teams up with LinkedIn

2U Provides Complimentary Access to LinkedIn Premium Career; LinkedIn Career Pathways Insights to Benefit 2U Partner Universities and their Students

Feb 6, 2019·2U

News & Press

WeWork Partners With 2U to Make Higher Education More Accessible

WeWork just turned its global network of workspaces into a community for learning and made it easier for WeWork members and employees to access graduate-level degrees and courses, thanks to a partnership with online education company 2U

Jan 22, 2019·2U

Culture

The Decade Ahead Promises Great Change in Higher Education

The decade ahead for higher education will be one of great change for colleges, according to a new survey of university deans, two-thirds of whom say their institutions will look much different ten years from now.

Jun 21, 2017·Jeffrey Selingo

Insights

Navigating a Marketing World with Too Much Data

Data-driven marketers are tasked with the job of getting out the right message to the right audience at the right time in order to attract the right consumers for a desired outcome.

Jun 5, 2017·Molly Forman

Mission

Education Investment As Tech Advances

Invest in Education To Keep Up With The Speed of Technological Advancements

May 16, 2017·Lord David WiIlletts

Culture

The Hidden Value of Corporate Philanthropy

A competitive salary. Health benefits. A hip workspace. These are all elements in attracting and retaining a stellar workforce.

Apr 19, 2017·2U

Culture

Visualizing Achievement

Data visualization has become a powerful tool for understanding trends in education.

Mar 28, 2017·2U

Culture

If You Build It, They Will Work

Companies are turning to office design as a way to attract and retain top talent, the days of cubicle-farms — like a scene out of Office Space — are over.

Mar 15, 2017·2U

Insights

How Companies Use Tech to Boost CSR

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has changed along with the mindset of today’s employees. According to a 2014 Nielson study, millennials are significantly more responsive to CSR, not only when it comes to consumption but also in making employment decisions.

Mar 5, 2017·2U

Partner Spotlight

Diversity and the Leadership Pipeline in Academia

Of the 1.5 million full-time faculty teaching in 2013 at degree-granting postsecondary colleges and universities, six percent were black, four percent Hispanic, and 10 percent Asian/Pacific Islander.

Mar 5, 2017·2U

Culture

Revitalizing American Cities in the Digital Age

Why college students choose to relocate varies. For some, it’s employment opportunities or the cost of living. For others, it’s the desire to live closer to family, change climates, or pursue a particular recreational activity.

Mar 5, 2017·2U

Insights

Data for Good: The Future of Data Science

When people hear “data science,” their minds typically go to big business and tech giants using data to make money and further their businesses.

Mar 5, 2017·2U

Insights

Building the University Brand

More than 4,700 degree-granting colleges and universities currently compete for prospective students’ attention.

Mar 5, 2017·2U